2001-12-22 / Columnists

Simon Says…. From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says….
From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

As many of you read in my column last week, I was very much annoyed that Senator Hillary Clinton’s New York office would not put calls from Rockaway residents through to Washington. After calling my good friend Ramon Martinez, senior staff member of Senator Clinton’s, we set up a meeting for last Monday.

Senator Clinton told us that planes should not be flying over our homes, but over the bay. She said she would fight for legislation and do everything in her power to help us. I have never been a fan of Hillary’s, but I must say I was indeed impressed with her concern and professionalism. We look forward to a follow-up meeting with her and her staff and a number of concerned constituents.

Tuesday afternoon we attended the induction of Bernice Siegel as a Judge of the Civil Court in Queens. Bernice and I have been acquainted since the mid eighties. We met Bernice through another great friend Lois Marbach and got to know Bernice as a major advocate for tenant’s rights.

Bernice was a founder and counsel to QLOUT, the Queens League of United Tenants. Along with Penny LaForest, Florence Fisher and Ida Pollack, we spent many a good night and day working to secure tenant’s rights and rallying in Albany.

Bernice represented SHAFT, 1 Beach 105 Street and 106-20 Shorefront Parkway in their fight for major capital improvements and a better quality of life in their buildings. She worked closely with President Barbara Buffalino and her board. We are very proud of the Queens County Democratic organization for picking one of the highest quality people you could ever meet to sit as a Civil Court Judge.

God bless Bernice. May she continue in her quest for honesty and justice for all.

On Friday evening we attended the Roxbury Christmas tree lighting. Although we had rain and fog on Friday, thank God the rain stopped during the lighting. After a special show, food was set up at St. Genieve’s Hall. It was wonderful to see so many families with children and grandchildren.

They were trusted to a show of exotic pets. All the pets had been mistreated by their original owners. An abused parrot pulls its own feathers out. Chinchillas, a turkey, snakes and a small flying mammal were shown. The children got to hold and pet the animals. They learned to treat animals with kindness and respect.

There was enough pizza and soda for all. Hats off to Father Jack and the Roxbury Community for making this event the best one I ever attended.

Special get well wishes to a dear friend Anna Baccia of NYC Department of Consumer Affairs who is recuperating after a knee replacement. We’re wishing you a speedy recovery and look forward to working with you in the future.

My heartfelt condolences to the family of Mary D’Amato. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary in 1995 when my mom, God rest her soul, was in Peninsula rehabilitation. I spent many nights sitting and talking with Mary about a variety of issues. She was warm, loving and caring. Definitely another angel in God’s heaven. We will miss you, Mary.

On Sunday evening we attended the Belle Harbor, Neponsit and Rockaway Park annual cocktail party at the Beach Club. This year they honored the fallen heroes who lived in our community. As each fireman’s name was called, a family member accepted a plaque in their memory.

This event was extremely moving and brought me to tears. The Rockaways are one beautiful family and congratulations to the three associations for working together to make this point.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, January 12. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $14 returned. Eleven people win $10 on the bus. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.

We wish everyone a merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. May this year bring you prosperity, success and peace in the world.

We graciously thank all those who reached out to help the Dyer family. They are no longer in need of personal gifts or money. We have helped them obtain the necessary tools and supplies from local businesses and major corporations. Thank you so much for your kindness during this holiday season.

Lew Simon met with Senator Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton promised to help in the fight to reduce the flights over Rockaway.


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